NEW YORK, July 12 (Xinhua) -- U.S. stocks closed higher on Thursday as investors digested a slew of economic data and corporate earnings reports.
The Dow Jones Industrial Average was up 224.44 points, or 0.91 percent, to 24,924.89. The S&P 500 increased 24.27 points, or 0.87 percent, to 2,798.29. The Nasdaq Composite Index increased 107.30 points, or 1.39 percent, to 7,823.92.
On the economic front, the U.S. Consumer Price Index for All Urban Consumers (CPI-U) increased 0.1 percent in June on a seasonally adjusted basis after rising 0.2 percent in May, the labor department reported on Thursday.
Over the last 12 months, the all items index rose 2.9 percent before seasonal adjustment.
In a separate report, the department said the number of Americans filing for unemployment benefits fell more than expected last week, hitting a two-month low.
In the week ending July 7, the advance figure for seasonally adjusted initial claims was 214,000, a decrease of 18,000 from the previous week's revised level, according to the report. The previous week's level was revised up by 1,000 from 231,000 to 232,000.
The 4-week moving average was 223,000, a decrease of 1,750 from the previous week's revised average. The previous week's average was revised up by 250 from 224,500 to 224,750, said the department.
On the earnings front, Delta Air Lines reported better-than-expected quarterly earnings but cut its 2018 profit outlook on Thursday as it prepares to slow its growth this fall.
Overall, S&P 500 companies are expected to post second-quarter profit growth of around 21 percent, slightly higher than what was forecast in April, according to Thomson Reuters.